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The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch

4.01  ·  Rating details ·  27,027 ratings  ·  1,327 reviews
Dick at his wildest and strangest - a mystifying but brilliant book - SF: 100 Best Novels

In the overcrowded world and cramped space colonies of the late 21st century, tedium can be endured through the drug Can-D, which enables users to inhabit a shared illusory world. When industrialist Palmer Eldritch returns from an interstellar trip, he brings with him a new drug, Chew-
Paperback, SF Masterworks, 231 pages
Published 2010 by Gollancz (first published January 1965)
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4.01  · 
Rating details
 ·  27,027 ratings  ·  1,327 reviews

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Glenn Russell
Jun 30, 2015 rated it it was amazing

The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch - A Philip K. Dick novel so crazy I found myself laughing out loud on every page. Here are a dozen key ingredients PKD mixes in his hallucinogenic science fiction roller coaster:

The illegal hallucinogenic drug Can-D
Drug of choice for those colonists on Mars and other remote planets, a drug enabling its chewers to inhabit the same body and mind-stream and then travel together to an appealing illusory reality in another dimension.

The legal (sort of) hallucinog
Nov 21, 2012 rated it really liked it
The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch was the kind of book that Kilgore Trout, the fictional recurring character in Kurt Vonnegut's novels (based on science fiction writer Theodore Sturgeon) would have been proud of – deftly original, scathingly satirical, wildly entertaining – and funny in the kind of subtle way that would have pleased Vonnegut.

It is good in many different ways, and works well on different levels. First published in 1965, this is one of Dick's earlier works that deals both dir
Aug 28, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2014, scifi, fiction, american
“It takes a certain amount of courage, he thought, to face yourself and say with candor, I'm rotten. I've done evil and I will again. It was no accident; it emanated from the true, authentic me.”
― Philip K. Dick, The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch


Enter into PKD's drug-infused, gnostic future. All his entheogens are belong to us. PKD is at his high point when he infuses his dark futurism with his gnostic explorations and his drug-fueled moral investigations. In 'The Three Stigmata of Palmer E
Nov 29, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites, sci-fi
Reading this book felt a bit like dreaming, after a while it became like a dream within a dream, soon after it became full on Inception!.

Without going into the synopsis in any detail, this novel features a drug induced virtual reality, initially with the aid of Ken and Barbie-like dolls in their nicely furnished dollhouse. The VR sessions are called "translations", a very popular past time in the hellish Mars colony. The drug is caled Can-D, later on a new type of drug called Chew-Z comes on th
Paul Bryant
Nov 18, 2007 rated it it was ok
Shelves: sf-novels-aaargh
Unfortunately this suffers from what we may call the Citizen Kane syndrome. (Someone somewhere must have given this thing a proper name.) It's when a groundbreaking original work of art gets ripped off so many times by lesser mortals (not necessarily out of malignant plagiarism, mostly because the original art introduces various techniques which become part of the lexicon) that when you actually get round to seeing/reading/hearing the original thing, your reaction is "okay, is that it?". Pity th ...more
As usual, Phillip K. Dick has left me with spirally eyes and a whirring brain. I'd like to give a plot summary, but I'll let someone else do that and egotistically save this space for my own musings: There are summaries I found that I like better, but this one provides a useful foil against which to formulate my own thoughts about this book, which rather has my mind tied in knots. To start with, I don't see the book's theme as revolving around drugs and h ...more
Nate D
Jul 19, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2010, sci-fi
Searching for meaning in drugs, god, corporate culture, human evolution. And then searching for meaning directly from and of a god -- of sorts. Completely berserk in terms of pacing and plotting, and borders on incoherency in the second half, but totally worth it anyway. Dick's conceptual reach exceeds his grasp by a decent margin but the reach is broad and esoteric and stimulating nonetheless.

Incidentally, the covers for the old editions of his are so much better than the one I've got:

I mean, i
The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch: What if god were a lonely drug-pushing alien?
Originally posted at Fantasy Literature
This was the 10th and final PKD book I read last year after 40 years without reading any. I always felt as a teenager that I would get more from his books as an adult, and I think I was right. This one is a real mind-bending experience, deliciously strange and tantalizing with its ideas.

The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch (1965) is one of the earliest PKD novels that deals
In 1963, while walking to his shed to do some writing, Philip K Dick experienced a ‘devastating vision of a cruelly masked human face in the sky’. Two years later, he published this book, so you, too, can experience a psychotic breakdown – from a relatively safe distance.

I really enjoyed Palmer Eldritch purely on the level of weirdness – it's one of the weirdest novels I've read for some time. Although there is a lot that doesn't add up in the plot, and some irritating flaws in the characterisat
Joe Valdez
My first encounter with the fiction of Philip K. Dick is his 1964 novel The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch. I was looking for something a bit challenging to read that wouldn't give me an ice cream headache. At my library, found a beautiful, barely read edition of this novel printed in 2011. PKD fans might fault my decision to make this title my introduction to the man's mind-bending tales of technological perversion, ecological disaster and the search for identity. I understand that he's writ ...more
Dec 04, 2018 added it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sf
Filip K. Dik je pisac koji uvek i bez izuzetka nudi brzu i ludu vožnju kroz različite nivoe realnosti. Sa logikom se generalno možemo pozdraviti negde oko prve trećine date knjige (a nekad i ranije, jeste, "Tecite suze moje, reče policajac", u vas gledam) ali uvek je istovremeno zabavno i izazovno i nadahnjuje na razmišljanje o ljudskoj prirodi, prirodi vere i prirodi stvarnosti. Iako je pripovedanje u cap-cap maniru, likovi uglavnom na ivici između skice i karikature a stil, hm, koji stil?* Nes ...more
Leonard Gaya
Jun 27, 2018 rated it liked it
Shortly after Martin Luther’s death, the heads of the papal Church, then widely challenged by the Protestant movement, felt the need to beef up their positions on a number of doctrinal points. In October 1551, the Council met in Santa Maria Maggiore church in Trento, to discuss the doctrine of the Holy Eucharist. In the end, and after a lengthy thirteen-sessions debate, the bishops came up with a doctrine worthy of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland: "by the consecration of the bread and wine ther ...more
Eirini Proikaki
Nov 20, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi
Είναι το τρίτο βιβλίο του Ντικ που διαβάζω και νομίζω οτι θα γίνω φαν.Ψάχνοντας πληροφορίες στο διαδίκτυο είδα οτι ήταν ιδιαίτερος άνθρωπος με βαθιές κοινωνικές και θρησκευτικές ανησυχίες και πολυτάραχη προσωπική ζωή.Μια δίδυμη αδερφή που πέθανε πολύ νωρίς στους πρώτους μήνες της ζωής τους,γονείς που χώρισαν οταν ήταν πέντε χρονών,πέντε γάμοι,τρία παιδιά,φτώχεια σε σημείο να τρώει σκυλοτροφή για να ζήσει,ναρκωτικά,ερωτικές απογοητεύσεις ,κατάθλιψη,απόπειρες αυτοκτονίας και έντονο φλερτ με την τρ ...more
Jun 13, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantascienza
Invasione interna

"Dio ha promesso la vita eterna; io posso metterla in commercio."

Lettura dalle molteplici interpretazioni, a tratti straripante per il devastante contenuto.
La cinica visione dell'autore mette alla berlina le nostre contraddizioni e insoddisfazioni: l'umanità tratteggiata è totalmente allo sbando, in perenne ricerca di sicurezza.
Il disperato bisogno d'evadere -vedi gli inquietanti modellini di Perkie Pat e Walt - si concretizza in un tremendo distacco dalla realtà, mentre i pu
Jun 26, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Cyberpunks and Christians
Shelves: 2009
An incredibly prescient satire on multimedia* addiction - losing oneself in artificial environments to escape (or at least muffle) an undesirable reality.

The picture PKD paints of the sad Martian colonists taking drugs and playing with dolls (becoming one with the dolls) reminds me of the...stereotypical...image the world has of the American nerd stuffing himself with junkfood and playing Sims, losing track of the time, of the day while living a better - or at least dynamic - life on a more vib
Maria Dobos
Feb 20, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Uneori, cărțile lui Philip K. Dick îmi par a fi scoase dintr-un vis: întreaga lume își pierde substanța, trecutul, prezentul și zeci de variante ale viitorului se contopesc, cauzalitatea este doar o amintire, iar mintea nu poate să distingă adevărul de halucinație...
Feb 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

Mislim, na kraju krajeva; morate uzeti u obzir da smo napravljeni samo od prašine. Mora se priznati da se iz toga ne može izvući baš mnogo i to ne bi trebalo da zaboravimo. Ali kad se sve uzme u obzir, mislim, to je nekako loš početak, ne ide nam baš loše. Pa ja lično vjerujem da čak i u ovoj gadnoj situaciji u kojoj se nalazimo, možemo da se provučemo. Jesam li jasan?

Roman Tri stigmate Palmera Eldriča predstavlja jedno uvrnuto ostvarenje koje pruža nove, izmjenjene dimenzije realnosti, prekogni
Sep 21, 2007 rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: Hardcore Philip K. Dick fans
I'm a fan of Philip K. Dick, but I read his stuff years ago. I eagerly sought this book out because I heard from a couple of people that this one was one of his best. Maybe I merely disagree, maybe my affection for PKD has waned, maybe I need more now than he can give.

Dick is famous for his drug use and for taking speed before cranking out an entire novel in fifteen hours flat. This book, to me, feels like his most drug-influenced book. Not because of his crazy ideas, those are to be expected. I
Aug 26, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi
Βρισκόμαστε κάπου στο κοντινό μέλλον. Η Γη έχει αποικίσει την Αφροδίτη, τον Άρη, τη Σελήνη και κάποια άλλα φεγγάρια. Οι περισσότεροι πλανήτες είναι άγονοι και η μόνη διασκέδαση των αποίκων είναι το παράνομο ναρκωτικό Καν-ντι το οποίο τους προμηθεύει η εταιρεία Μελέτες Κατασκευών Πεταχτούλα Πατ. Η εταιρεία αυτή εξειδικεύεται στο να φτιάχνει μινιατούρες για τα σκηνικά τα οποία πρωταγωνιστούν στις φαντασιώσεις των αποίκων κατά τη χρήση του Καν-ντι. Ο Μπάρνι Μάγερσον είναι πρόγνωσης προμόδας σε αυτή ...more
Jan 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I didn't like this at first, because I couldn't make sense of where Dick was taking it. At the end, I loved it. He created a myth, based on religious beliefs. Brilliant. Some of it scared me. This guy took Chew-Z, rather than Can-D, a powerful hallucinogen which makes your hallucination a simulacra of alternate reality. It goes deep into plot revelations. The kind of stuff I love, mind stuff, like The Matrix movie (which I can't watch anymore because I novelized it scene by scene and don't enjoy ...more
Mar 15, 2019 rated it really liked it
Philip K. Dick unchained. Such a trip!
Celebrity Death Match Special: The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch versus The Tale of Two Bad Mice

"You see them often?" asked Hunca. Her tone was casual, but Tom immediately caught the edge in her voice.

"Who do you mean?" he said, pretending not to understand. It was a strategy that had worked before.

Hunca moved a step closer to the layout. "The Chinese," she breathed, unable to contain her excitement any longer as she gazed at the doll's-house. Her ample breasts rose and fell under the thin s
V. in love
Feb 21, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Μάλλον 4*. Πολύ φευγάτο για τα γούστα μου.
Pam Baddeley
This novel was originally published in 1964 when the year 2016, when it is set, was sufficiently far ahead for its futuristic elements to be credible. Reading it now, it is an odd mixture of what never came to pass such as interstellar travel to Proxima Centuri, and technology now regarded as old hat such as casette tapes. But the essential weirdness remains. Rather than try to frame the complicated and interwoven plot, I'll confine myself to some comments about themes, characters and setting.

mark monday
Dec 13, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: z-philip-k-dick
"Three's my lucky number
And fortune comes in threes
But I wish I knew that number
That even little children seem to see
Oh, I'm missing everything I knew
It's just so hard to be a child
Oh, i'm missing all the things i knew
Yet whinge i knew nothing at all
I whinge i knew nothing at all"
Jul 10, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
What I would give for a dick I don't know, but I'm perfectly willing to pay 2 pounds a piece for them.

Review of 'Saint Maybe' and 'Stigmata'

There were clues in the titles, I realise retrospectively, that these were both books about God: ‘Saint’ in one, ‘Stigmata’ in the other…a complete coincidence that I read them back to back.

But what different takes – well, they would be different, wouldn’t they? Tyler and Dick. Not two authors one would typically mention in the same breath.

Saint Maybe deals
Κατερίνα Μαλακατέ
Ομολογώ, όταν πρόκειται για τον Φίλιπ Ντικ δεν μπορώ να είμαι αντικειμενική, έχω οξύτατη έξη από την γραφή του, δεν μπορώ να διαβάσω κανένα από τα βιβλία του χωρίς να θαυμάσω τη φαντασία και την ικανότητά του να στήνει πολλαπλούς κόσμους και αντικατοπτρισμούς της πραγματικότητας, χωρίς πουθενά να κουράζει ή να μπερδεύει τον αναγνώστη. Καλά, ίσως μόνο στο Valis, όπου o εθισμός του από τις αμφεταμίνες, τη θρησκεία και τα αντικαταθλιπτικά είχε φτάσει πια σε δ
Jun 02, 2011 rated it really liked it
Please note: Originally read and reviewed in 2007, just copying my review over from Amazon.

My synopsis: Working through the nature of reality and illusion, this story is set in a future that is anything but Utopian. Earth is going through a "fire" age and a human can not survive more than a few seconds outside during daylight; this has forced humanity to spend all daylight hours in a warren of buildings and tunnels. Additionally, a draft is set up to send humans out to the colonies on Mars and v
Jan 06, 2015 rated it really liked it
I tell myself lies everyday. Because when things aren't the way you want them, it's nice to have a little white lie to live within. Makes things, tolerable. Makes you wake up in the morning and think, Oh yeah, there's that to look forward to. In the back of your mind there's a voice reminding you, that's a lie, that's a lie, that's a lie...but you go along with it because. Because. Palmer Eldritch is the lie I tell myself. The embodiment. The giver of the lie. The one who perpetuates it. Who say ...more
Nov 04, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A klutzy, embarrassingly spiritual book—but enjoyable in a pulpy kind of way, nevertheless.
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Philip K. Dick was born in Chicago in 1928 and lived most of his life in California. In 1952, he began writing professionally and proceeded to write numerous novels and short-story collections. He won the Hugo Award for the best novel in 1962 for The Man in the High Castle and the John W. Campbell Memorial Award for best novel of the year in 1974 for Flow My Tears, the Policeman Said. Philip K. Di ...more
“But—let me tell you my cat joke. It's very short and simple. A hostess is giving a dinner party and she's got a lovely five-pound T-bone steak sitting on the sideboard in the kitchen waiting to be cooked while she chats with the guests in the living room—has a few drinks and whatnot. But then she excuses herself to go into the kitchen to cook the steak—and it's gone. And there's the family cat, in the corner, sedately washing it's face."

"The cat got the steak," Barney said.

"Did it? The guests are called in; they argue about it. The steak is gone, all five pounds of it; there sits the cat, looking well-fed and cheerful. "Weigh the cat," someone says. They've had a few drinks; it looks like a good idea. So they go into the bathroom and weigh the cat on the scales. It reads exactly five pounds. They all perceive this reading and a guest says, "okay, that's it. There's the steak." They're satisfied that they know what happened, now; they've got empirical proof. Then a qualm comes to one of them and he says, puzzled, "But where's the cat?”
“I mean, after all, you have to consider we're only made out of dust. That's admittedly not much to go on and we shouldn't forget that. But even considering, I mean it's sort of a bad beginning, we're not doing too bad. So I personally have faith that even in this lousy situation we're faced with we can make it. You get me?” 28 likes
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